The internet is a great place for bad ideas. Like letting any idiot with a keyboard have their say. How could that not end badly?
One of the bad ideas which gets much wider play than its lack of merit warrants thanks to the internet is Libertarianism. There are all sorts of reasons not to be a Libertarian, but the main thing to know is that there is no way to implement it that doesn't result in suffering.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for maximizing human suffering. If I were ruling a country it would look a lot like the way Rove is ruling America. Except I would've framed the Mexicans with 9/11 instead of the Arabs. They've got oil, no suicide bombers, and they're right there. Never under-estimate the importance of short supply lines.
I would've managed the invasion better, too.
The problem with Libertarianism is that the inevitable increase in suffering is merely a side-effect of incompetence. It's not like Libertarians want to enslave everyone and build giant stone pyramids. That would be pretty cool. No, the suffering comes from letting people do unto others without any government intervention.
Libertarians believe that if The Man quit sticking his nose in everyone's business with things like pollution regulations and anti-discrimination quotas, everything would just sort of work itself out. The problem, of course, is that things already have worked themselves out. And there was a lot of bloodshed along the way.
The fundamental tenet is supposedly the "non-initiation of force." Basically, it's the philosophy of "This is my land and I'll do what I damned well please," only cleaned up for city folk. It's round about the time that they bring up privatizing the streets that the fundamental absurdity of Libertarianism becomes apparent.
You see, Libertarians don't just want property owners to be able to use their property (or deny that use to others) as they wish. They also want everything to be privately owned.
Or at least, I think that's what they want. Libertarians are kind of hard to pin down because they can't explain their beliefs to anyone, even each other, without sounding like batshit crazy lunatics.
Maybe a lot of them don't want all streets to be privately owned and presumably gated. Maybe that's just the extreme ones, because you know that the extreme form of any ideology will not work in the real world. Libertarianism is special in that it doesn't have to be extreme to not work.
Consider again the idea of "non-initiation of force." That seems like a pretty good mantra or personal philosophy. Don't be a cunt, basically. Sort of like a Golden Rule that only applies to the non-SM crowd.
It is not, however, a basis for government. Governing is all about the use of force. Fining and imprisoning people who are cunts, taxing everyone to pay for things that not everyone wants, but most people need, and generally just slapping people around until they agree to get along.
Otherwise, it'd be feudalism all over again. Only this time with night-vision goggles and laser sights, not to mention napalm and nerve gas. Which would make for a great TV movie, but would suck for a daily commute.
Today's filler is yet another drawing other than UAC that Penguin has done in the last week. I cleaned up the dialog a little; you can see the original at his sketchblog.